Together Safely: Student Life

Last updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Guided by a comprehensive set of public health protocols, Albion College will continue to offer on-campus housing and dining, academic and student support and co-curricular activities this spring. 

Students can submit requests to travel and work off-campus, receive visitors to campus, or manage their travel as a commuter student using the forms below:

A member of our staff will be in contact within three business days to discuss the request.

Residential Life

We have been preparing diligently to welcome students back to campus for the spring 2021 semester. As in fall 2020, our plans for move-in and on-campus living focus on the health and safety of our residential students. Our goal is to foster an engaged, community environment where residents can create and honor expectations for living in a shared space. All students returning to campus for spring 2021 will be required to make the Albion Community Commitment

We will continue to provide updates throughout January 2021 as we follow national, state, local and College guidance to hone our plans. For more information about spring move-in protocols, visit Residential Life.

When will students move back to campus for spring 2021?

Spring semester classes for Module C begin on January 25, 2021. The majority of students living on campus for the spring semester will move back on either Saturday, January 23 or Sunday, January 24. The time block for each day is between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Students who are living in non-college housing will also need to check-in for the Spring Semester on either Saturday, January 23 or Sunday, January 24. This check-in process is very important for all students to complete as it confirms they are enrolling and following the expectations for a safe in-person spring semester.

As in August, students will need to reserve an arrival time through the Office of Residential Life to complete their spring semester check in. Students should refer to their email for instructions on signing up for a one-hour move-in slot.

Upon arriving to campus, students will be directed to report to the Dow Center Field House to complete their check-in process before proceeding to their assigned residential space. The check-in process will include a screening to ensure that students have taken all required precautions before returning to campus, as well as the administration of a rapid COVID-19 test. Following check in, students will be given a new Albion1Card (student ID) and can proceed to their residential assignment.

Are students allowed move-in helpers when they return to campus?

During their scheduled move-in time slot, students will be allowed up to two helpers who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, have not been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Helpers will not be allowed to participate in the check-in process at the Dow Center.

Will winter athletes return to campus early?

Yes. Albion has established protocols to allow winter athletes to move in earlier than the rest of the student body. As of now, move-in dates and times are as follows:

  • Men’s and Women’s Swimming - January 8, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Women’s Basketball - January 8, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball - January 8, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Track & Field - January 15, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter athletes have received a communication with additional details regarding the early move-in process.

What steps should students take if they are returning to Albion from outside the U.S.?

Students returning to Albion from outside the U.S. should notify the Center for International Education (CIE) by emailing . CIE will communicate additional instructions and guidelines regarding student’s return to campus and health requirements.

What precautions are students expected to take to prepare for a healthy return to campus?

Expectations and protocols for the safety of our community will continue to be in place for Albion College students, faculty and staff. In order for us to have a safe start to the spring semester, students must complete the following requirements before moving back to campus:

  • Self-Quarantine: Students should self-quarantine for one week prior to returning to campus. This includes staying away from large gatherings, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing (at least six feet) when around others, and only leaving their homes for groceries, medical appointments or to exercise alone.
  • Flu Shots: Flu shots are required for all students. Students must submit documentation that they have received a flu shot to  by January 4, 2021. Students will not be permitted to return to campus if they have not taken this step. Students who wish to be exempt from the flu shot requirement for medical or religious reasons should contact  to request a waiver. This temporary requirement has been put in place to aid in the reduction of flu cases on campus that are typically high during the winter season.
  • COVID-19 Test: Prior to returning to campus, students must submit documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed on or after January 16, 2021. The documentation must be submitted to . If students are having difficulty locating a COVID-19 test site in Michigan, they should call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136. If students need assistance in locating a testing site in other states, email . This requirement has been put in place to eliminate the need for students to self-quarantine on campus after moving in as they did at the beginning of the fall semester.

Questions or concerns about any of these health requirements should be directed to .

Will students be expected to self-isolate after moving onto campus?

No, students will not be required to self-isolate after moving onto campus for spring 2021. Instead, we are requiring that students provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed on or after January 16, 2021. This documentation must be submitted to  before returning to campus.

How are residential buildings being cleaned?

The campus sanitizing plan has been developed to provide a safe re-entry of students to campus residential spaces and a plan for maintaining a safe and sanitized environment throughout the academic year. Our custodial contractor ABM has provided essential information on best practices and recommendations on the levels and frequency of sanitization to provide a safe, clean and sanitized campus. The cleaning protocols in place follow the recommendations and processes developed by ABM for their entire international organization. These protocols meet or exceed the CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.

Once on campus, can students visit other residence halls?

For the time being, students are not permitted to visit other residential buildings. As the semester continues and we are able to assess compliance as well as case numbers on campus, locally and regionally, we will review whether students can safely move between residential buildings.

How will living on campus affect students with a disability accommodation request?

Students who have a disability that requires special housing, transportation, academic-related, or other accommodations should contact Disability Services by emailing Elizabeth Rudolph, director of accessibility services and campus disability officer at . Elizabeth will work with the Office of Residential Life, Campus Safety and the Provost's Office to provide the appropriate accommodations.

What will happen if my roommate or I have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 while living on campus?

The College has designated spaces for isolation and a process for quarantine, which includes minimally shared bathroom access, delivery of meals, laundry availability and the opportunity to continue course work remotely while in quarantine or isolation. Please become familiar with the following procedures:

  • Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday should call Albion’s COVID-19 team at (517) 629-0220 or email  to arrange for testing on campus. If students experience symptoms of COVID-19 after hours or on weekends, they should call Campus Safety at (517) 629 0213. 
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to move to a designated isolation space on campus and remain there until health officials determine that they are no longer contagious: usually 10 days after the start of symptoms and following 24 hours of improvement in symptoms and 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medication.
  • Roommates of students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive will be required to move to a designated quarantine space or, if they are the only occupant of the room, instructed to quarantine in that room and remain there for 14 days.
  • Students in quarantine or isolation will report their symptoms daily to a student health services staff member.
  • Students in quarantine and isolation will attend classes virtually. Meals, cleaning supplies and other support will be provided for students while they are residing in quarantine or isolation space.

Please note that all of the above protocols are subject to change based on guidance from CDC and directives from the Calhoun County Health Department and the state of Michigan. 

What if I need to be quarantined or isolated and can't attend class in-person?

Albion College faculty members have always made modifications for students with excused absences due to illness or personal emergency. This will hold true for those students who need to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test or quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure. If a student is quarantined or isolated, they should contact their professors. Faculty will work with students who must quarantine or isolate to modify class assignments in ways that best accomplish the learning objectives according to their expertise. This might take the form of live streaming the class, recording the class, meeting separately (virtually) with the student who is quarantined or isolated, or providing alternative assignments.

Dining Services

As a residential college, we value eating together as a community, and we are working to expand in-person dining opportunities for spring 2021. Our dining vendor, Metz Culinary Management, will provide dining setups and accommodations based on State of Michigan executive guidance. Based on student feedback from fall 2020, we have worked to make several improvements to student dining for the spring semester. These include additions to the menu in Baldwin and the Eat Shop, as well as an improved system for delivering food to students in quarantine or isolation. For more information, visit Albion College - Metz Dining Services Frequently Asked Questions.

Life on Campus

While life on campus may look a little different this spring, our faculty and staff are working hard to ensure that the semester is safe, engaging and fun. We have made adjustments to campus programming to ensure that students feel connected while staying healthy.

Will activities still happen on campus?

Yes. Along with in-person classes, Albion is actively seeking new ways to allow for safe, on-campus gatherings for students. As in fall 2020, we will be making campus modifications to increase opportunities for outdoor gatherings. 

Can students leave campus?

Yes. To help us mitigate risk and protect our community from outside infection, students must submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for off-campus travel that is not directly College-sponsored. Students should continue to submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for medical appointments and grocery shopping so we have a record of these trips, but these cases will be pre-approved. If a student has a recurring reason (weekly, monthly, etc.) to leave campus, there is a space on the form to note this and they do not need to request permission each time. If a student has a family emergency that requires them to leave campus, they do not need to fill out the form.

We are working with local business partners to offer safe locations where students can socialize, work and buy groceries. Students do not need to use the off-campus travel form in order to leave campus to visit these businesses, and we encourage students and visiting families to patronize them.

All other requests, including for family events, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requesting permission involves a brief conversation with a College administrator to understand and evaluate the risk of exposure.

Can students have visitors on campus?

Yes. In keeping with our public health and safety protocols, we have developed a process to facilitate student requests to receive visitors. All parents, guardians and families are permitted to visit outdoor spaces on campus, as well as visit businesses that are part of the Together Safely partnership with students providing they agree to observe our health guidelines, including staying physically distant and wearing masks. In order to have a visitor in outside spaces on campus, students must register their visitors so we are aware of the number of visitors on campus at any given time. This allows us to mitigate risk and ensure our whole community is protected.

The College is hoping to expand testing later in the semester in order to increase opportunities for on-campus visitors. We will share more information in the coming months.

Can students have an off-campus job during the spring semester?

Albion is continuing to work to make off-campus employment as accessible as possible while reducing risk to our campus community. As in the fall, students may work in an off-campus job if:

  1. The employer is located within 25 miles of campus and has all employees participating in Albion College's testing protocol; or
  2. They have a residency requirement waiver, live in non-college owned housing, and agree to take their classes only online.

Students who wish to work off-campus should fill out the Spring Off-Campus Work Request form. Students who wish to work the same off-campus job as they did in fall 2020 will need to fill out the form again for spring 2021. Students who have already received both doses of the vaccine can submit off-campus work requests through this form to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

As the vaccine becomes more readily available, we will share an updated policy regarding working off campus after receiving the vaccine, along with a process for verifying that both doses have been received. If you have questions about working off campus, email .

Adjusting Plans

We understand that during this unique year, student plans may change. Our team at the Cutler Center for Student Success is here to support students as they make decisions about their future at Albion.

How can students pursue a leave of absence or withdrawal?

A leave of absence is for students who need to take a temporary break from classes at Albion College for one or two semesters. A student on leave may participate in pre-registration, and some housing selection, if they let the college know of their intent to return by April 1 for a fall semester return and November 1 for a spring semester return. We will still take requests to return up to the week before classes begin, but there will be limited class and housing options. A student on leave cannot live in Albion College residences or participate in athletics or campus activities while on leave.

A withdrawal is for students who are leaving Albion College and don’t plan to return.

All students who want to take a leave of absence or withdrawal must meet with a Cutler Center staff member (in-person, virtually, or over the phone). The Cutler Center staff member will help the student decide whether a leave of absence or a withdrawal is better in their situation and start the Leave/Withdrawal Intake form if the student has not already completed it. Students need to coordinate with Financial Aid and/or Student Accounts on the financial implications of their decision.

Students who wish to return from a leave must notify the College using this Intent to Return form by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester if they want to participate in the pre-registration process and have some housing selection.